The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Energy Efficiency vs. Air Quality In Homes

Modern homes are far more energy efficient than even a couple of decades ago, which can save a lot of money in heating costs but if the heating and ventilation system are not working properly can lead to problems with indoor air quality. Years ago homes were far "looser" than today with many air leaks that required more heat or AC but at the same time allowed the house to breathe more and not allow condensation to form as much which can lead to mold. Unfortunately a home this loose would cost a fortune to heat now, as many owners of old houses know. New homes are much tighter with air leaks but this means that outside ventilation air needs to be introduced in a controlled way to assure good air quality. This means you need to have a properly operating HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning) system.
HVAC heat exchanger

One of the simplest things you can do to improve your air movement with an HVAC system is to clean or change your filters regularly. Be sure to clean the outside air intake monthly to remove debris that can catch on the intake screen and wash the reusable filters on the air exchanger making sure to dry them before re-inserting them into the air exchanger. These are separate from the regular paper filters near the furnace which are not re-usable. Get familiar with your furnace now and you can avoid problems that can degrade air quality in the home and still keep things nice and toasty warm without costing an arm and a leg.

If you have any questions please call me at 475-2027 or stop by my office at Trust Lands, 27 Store Road or drop me an e-mail at

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